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Transfers: All the moves as they happen
Club histories
Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 21:48
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Morley T20 winners
Morley's 2013 Dyson Insulations Twenty/20 Cup winning side. Back, from left, Luke Heinemann, Matthew Dowse, Nathan Bromby, David Nebard, David Paynter, Gary Wainwright. Front: Kashif Naveed, Richard Winn, Matthew Baxter (captain), Colin Nuthall, Richard Jubb
Picture: © Mike Baker JCT600 Bradford League
by Reg Nelson

The Morley Cricket team, then known as Throttlers Off, played their first game on Fish’s Field, a mere long hop from the present field, in 1841. In the early 1850’s, now known as Morley, they moved to the Nelson ground just near the Prospect.

It was on this ground in 1862 that Morley played an All-England XI in a match which attracted 8,000 spectators. The game was repeated the following year and again attracted a similar number of spectators. In the early 1880’s Morley moved to Queens Park playing fields, only a six-hit from Scatcherd Lane. The entrance to these fields was the present entrance to Brumfitt’s mill yard - the stone archway over the entrances still stands. In 1889 Morley moved to their present spacious grounds in Scatcherd Lane.

Bobby Peel was Morley's most famous cricketer
Colin Nuthall
Colin Nuthall has given loyal service to Morley
David Nebard
David Nebard has been a keyman on and off the field during Morley's emergence in recent years
Paul Kinder
Paul Kinder's bowling was economical and effective as Morley found their feet in the Bradford League
Kashif Naveed
Overseas player has proved an outstanding all-rounder since joining Morley

These were officially declared open by the Mayor of Morley, David Thackary. Morley’s most famous cricketer was, of course, Bobbie Peel, born in Churwell and of Yorkshire and England fame. Only three England bowlers have taken 100 wickets or more in Test cricket against Australia prior to the modern age. One of these was Peel -  the other two were SF Barnes and Wilfred Rhodes. Morley also had those two legendary cricketing characters, Bob Hutchinson and Charlie Pratt who, along with George Glover, carved a niche for themselves in the club’s history.

In 1929 the committee of the Morley Cricket, Bowling and Athletic Club made, what was at the time, a momentous decision. A decision that was to affect the club, not only in the foreseeable future, but for all time. They decided to purchase the cricket field and the adjoining rugby field from Lord Dartmouth’s agents. The cost was £3,000 and in those days just after the general strike, this was nothing less than a small fortune.

The money was raised by means of a bazaar. This was to be no one-day event – it was to be the biggest bazaar ever held in the town, lasting a full week and staged in the Morley Town Hall. For two years before the bazaar was staged the ladies and gentlemen of the Morley C B &A club worked, as no committee before, or since, has every worked. Eventually the great week arrived. And, who better to open the occasion than one of the world’s finest openers, Herbert Sutcliffe of Yorkshire and England fame. Herbert duly officiated at the ceremony and the bazaar was a tremendous success not only financially but socially. The money was raised and the two fields duly purchased and at last Morley Cricket Club had a home.

To write of Morley cricket without mention of Kenyon Newton would be unfair to him. Morley cricket and Kenyon Newton were synonymous. For over 42 years he was official scorer for Morley and recorded his last runs in September 1949. His scorebooks were a work of art, far in advance of their time, immaculately and meticulously written. They truly reflected the man’s great love not only for cricket but for Morley Cricket Club. His daughter Jessie, and her husband Ken, became official scorers of the club in a subsequent generation

Morley has a long association with the Central Yorkshire League and its different guises linked to the old Yorkshire Council. Although H.Newbould with 423 runs at 47.00 won the League Batting Averages in 1948 honours were scarce until comparatively modern times.

In 1971 Morley skippered by Graham Boothroyd was the title winners of the top division with Alan Denison winning the league batting averages with 516 runs at 36.80.

Roger Braithwaite was an inspirational player for his side and in 1979 with his left arm spin won the league bowling averages with 41 wickets at 10.58. His longevity would allow him to replicate this feat in 1992 when on this occasion he took 41 wickets for 14.12.

Most of the in between years were spent establishing Hanging Heaton in the Bradford League. He had wicket hauls of 64, 44, 51, and 54, and actually won the W H Foster Memorial League Bowling Averages on three occasions.  A Morley lad, he was Chairman when he instigated his club’s move into the Bradford League in 1998. Tragically he passed away without seeing Morley participate in the league.

Morley has a proud tradition in the Heavy Woollen Cup and the last time they were victorious was in 1973 when they beat a powerful Hanging Heaton side in the Final. Morley stunned the watching crowd at Cleckheaton as they demolished their opponent by nine wickets chasing a mere 125. Other wins in this famous competition were in 1893, 1984, 1908, 1914 and 1950. 

The peak years for Morley were a decade later when they won major honours in successive seasons. In 1985 Peter Arundel skippered them to the title again after a gap of 14 years, and the following year pulled off the Jack Hampshire Cup. These were truly heady days at the Scatcherd as they enjoyed their day in the sun at Mirfield beating Chickenley in the 1986 final. Arundel was an excellent bowler who scooped the league bowling prize in 1980 with a performance of 57 wickets at 9.78.

A key figure in the 1985 title winning side was Peter ‘Golly’ Oldham who was a keen performer with bat and ball. That year saw Oldham at his zenith as he took the Clifford Sykes Trophy for All Rounders- 960 runs and 36 wickets.

The highlight of 1987 was Howard Leach’s 10-33 against Altofts.

In 1988 Howard Leach led Morley to their second title in three years. Ostensibly it was a great team effort but one man stood out- wicket-keeper/batsman Dave Jones.

Recognised as one of the best post-war players at the club the Australian won the First Division Batting Averages with 855 runs at 75.90. To illustrate his class he replicated this feat in 1995 at Methley. Leach was approaching the veteran stage in 1988 having given sterling service to Queensbury in the seventies. He was a rapid left arm pace bowler in those days, but he developed into a fine `line & length’ seamer. 

Morley was a welcome entry into the Bradford in 1998 with their well appointed ground on Scatcherd Lane. They appeared to have the cricket infrastructure to launch an immediate promotion bid, but surprisingly their progress was slow. In their third season in 2000 they finished bottom on six points, suffering 22 defeats in the process and having to seek re-election.

This was a rude awakening for the former Central Yorkshire League outfit. By 2003 they had improved somewhat but were still down the table in tenth place. They might have won ten matches, but they also lost 12.

Morley was a tough nut to crack on their ground where the fabled seamer Paul Kinder caused no end of difficulties. He bowled an immaculate line and length of `little seamers’ and seemed to always extract the maximum out of his home wicket. The opposition batters would enter the crease playing expansive shots and when dismissed wondered why a `little seamer’ like that could spoil their day.

Of course the answer was clearly his underrated craft. He was a danger bowler if there was anything in the wicket, but he could also contain on `shirt-fronters’.

In 2003 Morley never threatened to join the promotion race but possessed some very handy performers. Their Australian Colin Nuthall was always the one to get out for the opposition, epitomised by his fine haul of 606 runs. Perhaps the most crucial player was all-rounder Chris Smith who never enjoyed the acclaim he deserved but contributed 512 runs coupled with 47 wickets.

The aforementioned Kinder was inevitably the key bowler taking 57 wickets, while the up and coming leg-spinner David Nebard chipped in with 38 wickets. Nebard was always a battler on the cricket pitch, but who could have predicted at this point that he would become such a stalwart off the field in years to come? 

He first made an impression on the Bradford League in 1999 when he helped win Hanging Heaton the First Division title. After John Carruthers he was the leading bowler with 32 wickets in 7th place in the league bowling averages. This effort earned him the `Young Spin Bowler’ of the year award.

 Morley’s second team struggled in 11th place out of 15 but had a player in David Goodland (738 runs) who many thought should have been playing in the first team.

It could be said that 2003 was not an earth shattering season in Morley’s history, but it did prove to be a catalyst for the following season. Morley finished the season runners-up to Bradford & Bingley, and in doing so secured promotion for the first time.

A key signing was Nathan Bromby (59 wkts) from Woodlands who gave more pace to their bowling attack, but it was Kinder who proved to be the most influential (again). Kinder finished third in the league averages with 63 wickets at a cost of 11.76 per wickets. Morley survived the 2005 season in the first division with Bromby and Kinder proving they could take wickets in the higher sphere. However, they were relegated in 2006, and by 2008 they had finished second-bottom in the lower division ensuring that they had to seek re-election for a second time in their short history.

After several quiet seasons Morley were determined to launch a promotion campaign in 2012, but their chances seemed very slim in August because of the consistency of Baildon and Yeadon who kept interchanging at the top.

However, when Yeadon went down by 34 runs to Baildon and surrendered the leadership it gave hope for Morley. Baildon ensured promotion before a final day clash between Morley v Yeadon would decide the destiny of the title and also the second place. It turned out to be a glorious day for Morley as they inflicted a six-wicket defeat on Yeadon and ensured promotion right at the death of the season.

They had never given up and had snapped at the ankles of their rivals in the last third of the season, and the youthful Yeadon just couldn’t quite get over the line. In the final analysis it was a well deserved promotion feat given that the records confirmed that Morley scored the most runs in the division (3,349) and jointly took the most wickets (169) with Keighley. 

Morley’s Kashif Naveed also contributed the division’s top score of 142* versus Brighouse in his fine aggregate of 891 runs at 68.54. He also snared 54 wickets at 9.98. Nathan Bromby was his usual consistent persona with 39 wickets at 13.62.

Off the field initiatives sparked by David Nebard pointed to a definite revival of Morley Cricket Club in 2013 as they took their place again in the top flight having lured a virtuoso cricketer in David Paynter. 

Paynter was a product of Windhill before transferring to Pudsey Congs. He then left for all-conquering Wrenthorpe in their hey-day when he was at the peak of his career. His First Class career saw him play as a top-order batsman and part-time spin bowler for Northamptonshire.

He initially joined the Yorkshire Cricket academy before appearing for Worcestershire 2nd XI. After five first-class matches and four List A matches in three seasons with Northants, Paynter returned to the Worcestershire 2nd XI, but stopped playing First Class in 2004.

Several weeks into the season Morley just could not get off the bottom of the league despite featuring in tight games. Suddenly their fortunes changed and a great run took them clear from the basement weeks before the end of the season. All Rounder Kashif Naveed again excelled with 705 runs, and 40 wickets while Paynter was not quite as prolific as his Wrenthorpe’s days contributing 533 runs. Bromby took his usual 30 wickets. Nebard could never be taken lightly with his teasing leg-breaks.

Morley created history in 2013 by winning the Dyson Insulations 20/20 cup on a memorable night at Wagon Lane when they beat favourites Lightcliffe.

Before the 2014 season began Morley were faced with losing their star player David Paynter to Hanging Heaton. Further blows hampered them when his replacement Tosh Baker decided to join Pool just before the season began, and they then lost Gary Wainwright to Buttershaw St Paul's during the early part of the season.

Despite this they romped to victory in their first two matches and enjoyed a mini-spell at the top. The manner in which they beat New Farnley and Pudsey Congs indicated that they had the stomach for a real battle. This stayed with them throughout the season and when in defeat they took their opponents all the way. A late season collapse in form condemned them to a relegation fight with East Bierley who eventually prevailed by 21 points.

Although the normally prolific Kashif Naveed took nine wickets in the first two league matches he had a subdued season with both bat and ball. Former Spen Victoria batsman Matthew West proved to be the most effective batsman with 477 runs at 28.06, while the battling Nebard was the best bowler with 31 wickets at 20.77.

Morley was determined to return to the First Division at the first time of asking and they held sway at the top for virtually all season. Scholes closed the gap at one point but in the end thirty-two points separated top from second with Morley crowned champions. 

Morley had the best all round side in the division with three batters all averaging over 40 runs per innings-  Kashif Naveed (760 runs at 63.33), James McNichol (798 runs at 49.88) and skipper Matthew Baxter (688 runs at 40.47).

The bowling department was equally adept with 18-year old former Sheffield United paceman  Ben Jenkinson winning the League Bowling Averages with 41 wickets at 9.88, complimented by Bromby (38 wkts) and Dowse (41 wkts). Spinner Nebard ran Jenkinson close in the league averages finishing second with 33 wickets at 12.21.

A second individual league award came when Luke Heinemann won the League Wicket Keeping Trophy with 35 victims.

Morley made a confident start to the 2016 season in the Premier League with three wins and a tie in the first five fixtures. Slowly it all unraveled and by mid-season they were involved in a relegation fight which went down to the last day.

The fact that they didn’t survive was down in part to the injury problems of their influential overseas all-rounder Naveed. He still managed to be their top run-getter with 414 runs, and their main bowler with 31 wickets at 14.03, but vital points were lost when he was absent.

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